http://www.pressreader.com/india/economic-times/20150919/281479275207815/TextView

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/for-an-inclusive-humanities-pedagogy/article7675270.ece

Disclaimer: The usage of the word ‘scientist’ is synonymous with ‘technician’, ‘engineer’, ‘mechanic’ and so on. And vice-versa.

I have a few points to add to both these articles, because the biggest difference that lies between the T (thinking) and F (feeling) manifests itself in small things. These articles allow me to present a perfect analysis (or should I say, psychoanalysis) about those engineers, or mechanics, or scientists, who have an above average IQ. They’re just too good with everything mathematical, technological, mechanical. You’ll feel blessed to have them by your side if God forbid, you’re ever stuck in a 3-idiots like pregnancy situation, or when you can’t find a simple solution to a seemingly complex problem. They have their idiosyncrasies, like everyone else, but they evolve in a manner very different from those that chase (pursue) humanities.

As mentioned by some of the students in the abovementioned article, the rat race in the technical institutions unfortunately makes (some of) those intelligent folks think that dealing with pressure and competition is all about eliminating the opponent. It often leads them to ‘logically’ make friends of convenience. Since they hypothesize a lot, and are often wary of being wrong, they tread cautiously in the labs, and in life. But this results in negative tendencies as well. They rationalize every wrong thing that they do, so a sin might translate into ‘mistake’ for them, leaving you wondering if they have any sense of empathy; if they have any moral values at all. [But for their lack of expression, they certainly do (even if their perspectives seem rather offbeat, unconventional)]. They want to get into the premier institutes of the country, but despise being known as ‘nerds’ or ‘geeks’. So they probably end up ‘networking’ so much that they forget who they initially were, and where they came from. They forget that nerds exist in every professional institution, and being nerdy is the new trend. 😛

Both scientists and humanists live in a world of ideas, albeit with a difference. Imagination inside the labs has the potential to make our scientists and technicians seem out of touch with emotions, whereas imagination in the mind for those who read philosophy makes them abstract thinkers. This abstract thinking can often make the humanists lose their way and as a result, they might not be as opinionated as they should be because they tend to deal with all perspectives. The latter are often more broadminded as a result, but sometimes, it may not give them an edge above the scientists, who talk in clear terms about the ‘who’, ‘why’, ‘how’, or ‘what’. The former deal with machines, the latter deal with people. But when it comes to medicine, the former also deal with people. And doctors can be of two kinds: one, who enter the profession only because they truly feel for people; second, those who derive a sadistic pleasure out of watching blood, cut-up head, and all the gory details. A scientist and social scientist can often clash with each other, and may not understand each other’s working styles: the former works towards a materialistic goal, whereas the latter somehow are better able to integrate the need for an income and the need to feel fulfilled. They may never comprehend each other’s way of expression, because they are literally, on different wavelengths.

An engineer or a scientist will always operate with logic, and a humanist will always bring cognitive abilities and empathy to the fore. Both can and must complement each other, for that’s the reason biotechnology and medico-legal fields are flourishing. They can not be isolated from each other. Science is the reason why man has been able to find answers to so many questions, it is the reason why vaccines have been developed for people who are suffering from diseases, the reason why we are able to talk about ‘paternity suits’, about pre-natal diagnostic tests, and so many other things. Humanitarian concern propels scientific research, and this is the most effective combination. I wonder why this combination fails to work at a microcosmic level. Maybe that’s why, there are many lessons to be learned before we truly realise the importance of manufacturing industries, of agricultural engineering, of face transplants and their ability to provide confidence of a lifetime. A lesson shared by all themes is that of the ability to reach out to people not for deriving false pleasure out of momentary popularity, but because we should truly delve deeper for a just cause. But there’s a catch: we need to learn these lessons simultaneously, because why a farmer commits suicide is inextricably linked with issues such as hybrid crops, WTO Regulations etc; why a dengue-stricken person dies in a hospital depends on not only the presence of medication, but also on the management. The links between science and humanities are so obvious that it would be like escaping reality to think that they are separate fields of knowledge. As our IITs have rightly realised, they would do well to marry each other, instead of marring each other.

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